At least two members of the Bush Commission on Opportunity in Athletics reviewing Title IX plan to submit a minority report, charging that the Commission’s recommendations to the Department of Education could negatively impact millions of women and girls. The minority report will be submitted by commissioners Julie Foudy, captain of the US National Women’s Soccer Team, and Donna de Varona, an Olympic gold medallist in swimming, though other commissioners may join them, according to the Associated Press. Foudy especially criticized the recommendation to use interest surveys to determine the levels of opportunity on a given college for men and women, saying that these surveys would effectively “freeze discrimination in place” and reduce access to athletic opportunities for women, the AP reports. Judith Sweet, a National Collegiate Athletic Association vice president, told the Times that “some of the recommendations on the table have the potential of institutionalizing discrimination against women. I think it’s very unclear to all of us what’s going to happen with the report, and how it is going to be used.”
A draft of the Commission’s report on Title IX, published in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, ignores the continuing lack of participation opportunities and funding that women's and girls' athletics face in favor of recommendations that will increase males' participation in athletics. Title IX is the 1972 law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education, including athletic programs. The Commission suggested several sweeping changes to Title IX enforcement that could effectively eviscerate the gains women and girls have made in athletics.
The Commission will present its final report to the Department of Education tomorrow. The report submitted by Foudy and de Varona will not be part of the group’s official report in the public record, Education Secretary Rod Paige told the New York Times.
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .